The meaning of the word netizen and for whom it is used seems confusing for many. Is it an English or a Konglish word? How is it related to Kpop? If you’re curious, then read on. 😉
What does Netizen mean?
In order to explain what the term Netizen means, we must first look at how it was born. Netizen is a term developed in 1993 by an internet theorist and author, Michael Frederick Hauben, by combining the words Internet and Citizen (Internet + Citizen). According to Hauben, the internet reflected a new social membership that was not geographically based. So he had to diverge a bit from the word “Citizen”, which inherently implies a member of a certain country or locality. Hauben accordingly expressed: “That’s why I linked the phrase net.citizen to Netizen.”
Let’s briefly know who Michael Frederick Hauben (inventor of Netizen)
Hauben was born in 1973 in Boston, Massachusetts. He held a BS in Computer Science and an MSc in Communication from Columbia University. As the result of injuries caused by a traffic accident he had in 1999; he first lost his job, then got imposed upon a huge debt burden. When he was about to lose his house, he could not recover from the psychological depression he experienced and committed suicide in New York in 2001 when he was 28 years old.
Who is a Netizen.
Netizen is a term that describes a person participating in political society using the internet. Netizen is someone who is an active participant in online communities; i.e. a person who acts like exchanging opinions, giving information, commenting, voting using various websites and social media on the internet. Netizen is synonymous with cybercitizen.
Is Netizen a Konglish word? What does Konglish (네티즌) mean?
In order to tell whether Netizen is a Konglish word, it is first necessary to know the meaning of Konglish. Konglish means a combination of Korean and English words. In other words, Konglish is a Korean word derived from English. However, as we explained above, Netizen is a combination of the words “Internet” and “Citizen”, both of which are English words.
An example of the Konglish word: haendeupon (In English it is “cell phone”. It means Hand Phone in Korean.)
K-Pop, Netizen and Fandom
Although the term Netizen is of English origin, Koreans use it the most. In Korea, where internet communication tools are used very intensively and effectively, Netizens pose substantial power in both political and social fields via their comments shared on online communities. This effect made the term Netizen more known all over the world. Therefore, the term Netizen is generally thought to be a Konglish word.
Netizens are also highly active in other Korean media streams such as K-Pop and K-Drama, but we can say that they are most influential in the Kpop realm. Netizens can show their reactions to events in the world of K-pop swiftly and change the course of events with their organized comments, votes and online posts. One of the best examples of this was netizen’s reaction against when a staff member pulled LOONA‘s Chuu‘s hair in 2020 Idol Star Athletics Championship (2020 ISAC).
Netizen groups that admire a certain K-Pop group are described as Fandom. Examples of the most popular Fandoms are ARMY (BTS) and BLINK (BLACKPINK). Orbits, LOONA’s fandom, organized social media and other Fandom groups to take action and got the staff member fired. It reveals the power of Netizens.
If you are curious about the Fandom Names given to the Netizens of K-POP Groups, you can check over Korebu.com‘s fandom name roster.